Don't Cry! Here's How to Clean Your Windows' Weep Holes

by Team HomeServe
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Weep holes are small holes or openings along the bottom frame of a window meant for drainage. Over time, they can become clogged, which can lead to moisture buildup.

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Wondering how to clean window weep holes? It's a simple window maintenance task that can prevent major water damage.

What Is a Window Weep Hole For?

Weep holes are often rectangular and have a flap covering them. The flap opens one way to let the water flow out of the window and prevent it from flowing back in. Depending on the age of your windows, weep holes may look different.

Weep holes serve as drains for water to keep the water from getting inside your home. Your windows can get hit with water from rain, garden hoses and other sources, and if there's no way for it to escape, that water can seep into your home.

While many windows have weep holes, not all of them do. If you don't see a small opening along the bottom trim area, your window might not have weep holes.

How Do You Clean Them?

These little drain holes can become clogged with dirt, leaves and other debris, so knowing how to clean window weep holes is essential. If you don't clean them regularly, they can become completely blocked and push the water inside your home, which can cause major damage.

Cleaning the weep holes is an easy process:

1. Locate the weep holes.

2. Wipe away any visible debris on the outside of them.

3. Test the weep holes by pouring water in the window track or spraying your hose at the window. Watch for water to run out of the weep hole. If it doesn't, you'll need to do more cleaning to remove the blockage.

4. Lift the flap of the weep hole if it has one. If the flap feels stuck, use a putty knife or similar tool to pry it up.

5. Use a small brush, toothpick, compressed air, wire hanger or screwdriver to dig the debris out of the weep hole.

6. Pour or spray more water at the window to make sure the weep holes are working properly.

media/?Close up shot taken from underneath a vinyl window showing the weep hole where water drains out.

You'll need to repeat this process on all your windows to protect them from water damage.

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How Often Should You Clean Them?

Now that you know how to clean window weep holes, you'll want to know how often to do this task. A good rule of thumb is to inspect the weep holes whenever you clean your windows. If you don't clean your windows very often, check the weep holes at least once per year. The best time to inspect and clean the holes is right before your rainy season. If you live in a dusty area or a location with lots of natural debris, you might need to inspect and clean the weep holes more often.

It's also a good idea to check the weep holes if your area is receiving a lot of heavy rain, especially if it's more than normal. During those rainy periods, make sure the weep holes are free of obstructions and that the rain is flowing out of them easily.

Problems With a Clogged Window Weep Hole

If you don't keep your window weep holes clean, the water that enters the window frame has no way to escape. This often leads to rotting in and around the window over time. The water can leak into your home, where it can damage your walls, flooring and other home surfaces. The moisture can also lead to mold growth inside your home.

Other Tips for Cleaning Window Weep Holes

Window weep hole maintenance can prevent costly damage to your home. Here are some additional tips for maintaining weep holes and protecting your home from water damage:

  • Clean all around: Keeping the entire window track and sill clean can prevent water damage. It helps remove debris before it can get stuck in the weep holes and helps water flow freely.
  • Don't paint weep holes: Avoid covering the weep holes with paint, caulk or other materials.
  • Consider the environment: The weather and how dirty things get outside your home can affect how often you'll need to clean your weep holes. Monitor the weep holes throughout the year to get an idea of how quickly they get dirty. This can help you create a cleaning schedule.

Cleaning window weep holes is a maintenance task many homeowners don't know about, but performing this simple task can prevent major damage to your home.